Even for a Valentine’s Day themed episode Mr. and Mrs. Mxyzptlk pushed the romance a little too hard. Not that Supergirl needs to be geared toward a male audience — there’s plenty of options for that — but this was the superhero TV episode equivalent to a chick flick.
Love was smog-like thick in the air tonight (Oh Lord…) and everyone was catching the fever. Kara and Mon-El had their first kiss crashed by Mr. Mxyzptlk (Peter Gadiot). Instead of the pint-sized nuisance that constantly harasses Superman every 90 days, this version is deeply in love with Kara and willing to do anything to get her to marry him. It seemed kind of odd that the show pronounced Mxyzptlk differently than other instances.
The romantic twist took away some of the fun of Mxyzptlk’s childish antics and pranks for the sake of having a good time. And it gave us some cringe-inducing moments like Mon-El wishing he could snap his fingers and give Kara anything. Mon-El went into ridiculous possessive boyfriend territory while Mxyzptlk came off like a stalker. Not that Kara came off especially well either in toying with Mon-El’s emotions.
Still, the writers managed to work in some fun elements of Mxyzptlk’s anything goes powers, including a Hamilton-inspired duel and bringing Parasite back for a rematch. Too bad he couldn’t give him a makeover while he was at it. And Supergirl had a clever method of making him return to the 5th Dimension, but the moral of can’t forcing love was overkill.
But the overabundance of romantic subplots dragged the episode down. It was telling that the most interesting was Winn and his new alien girlfriend, Lyra (Tamzin Merchant).
Last season Alex could be counted on to be the one consistently well-written supporting characters. She encouraged Kara and wasn’t a typical damsel in distress female sidekick. And despite her supporting status, Alex had a ton of depth and was usually involved in the best moments of every episode.
This season her entire storyline revolves around her relationship. Worst of all, Alex has lost her edge and is now simply a lovestruck puppy afraid of messing things up with Maggie. Turns out Maggie hates Valentine’s Day due to being outed in high school and disowned by her parents. Maggie needed the softening up, but even if Alex was dating Matt this increased focus on her love life is dull.
At least it’s more interesting than Kara and Mon-El. There’s no intrigue here and the build has been so obvious that I’m glad the writers finally got their first make out session out of the way. Mon-El is in danger of becoming far more boring than Alex if he starts down the happy in love road.
After a really nice string of strong episodes, this was a definite step back. The characters’ love life is always the least compelling aspect of these CW shows and it wasted the potential of a unique villain in Mxyzptlk. Hopefully Cadmus strikes back next episode.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW